Heather Cho, the daughter of Korean Air Lines Co. (003490) Chairman Cho Yang Ho, was arrested on a charge of obstructing aviation safety after she ordered a crew member to deplane during a row over in-flight service.
“I’m sorry,” Cho said, looking down and surrounded by reporters in footage broadcast by YTN from outside prosecutors’ offices in Seoul. The Seoul Western District Court issued an arrest warrant for Cho late yesterday, Heo Seung, a judge at the court, said today by phone.
Cho’s arrest follows a public outcry in South Korea after she ordered the head of the service crew on Flight 86 from New York to Seoul to deplane Dec. 5 after an attendant served her macadamia nuts without asking.
The aircraft had already left the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport for takeoff when the incident happened. It took no more than 2 minutes to return to the gate to deplane the crew member, according to the airline. The flight was 11 minutes late when it arrived in Seoul on Dec. 6.
Cho, who was flying in first class, resigned from all of her positions at Korean Air and other affiliates during the public backlash. Her father apologized to the public.